Best Design Awards 2016: The Innovator shows off the diversity of wool

A design studio’s entertaining film celebrating the versatility and benefits of wool took a Purple Pin at the 2016 Best Design Awards in October.

Design firm Buck were named a Supreme Winner in the moving image category, and awarded a Purple Pin in the 2016 Best Design Awards, for their short film The Innovator - made for The Woolmark Company.

The film travels through the ages showing how wool has been used to clothe society, starting from the Stone Age right up to present day.

Design director Lucas Brooking says the recognition at the awards means a lot. “I’ve followed the Best [Design] Awards since I first entered the industry so it feels great to finally be part of a project that won a pin. It’s like I’ve been recognised as a ‘real’ New Zealand designer.”

The light-hearted animation video has no spoken word and will be used throughout the world in many different markets. It’ll be used as an educational clip for children and consumers, teaching the endless opportunities of wool.

Creating a concept to cater to such a wide audience and do so without dialogue was a challenge, Brooking says. "Since our characters couldn’t talk, we had to make sure every pose, action and movement conveyed what the characters were feeling in that moment. We were trying to inject as much humour as possible so I referenced classic Disney animation and silent films to see how the greats handled similar challenges.”

Each of the 13 characters in the film goes through a series of costume changes, all highlighting the diversity of wool. A total of 30 outfits appear in the film. The international team of animators and designers worked collaboratively to come up with the final result – the whole process took six months.

Buck, a newly formed Sydney-based design studio enlisted New York-based friends at Antfood to produce the soundtrack for the clip. The Woolmark Company will use The Innovator within existing programmes such as its Wool4School initiative.